We have all been there: your hanging out with a group of friends or your partner when suddenly you start to feel down, lacking confidence and wanting to curl yourself up in a ball and disappear. These feelings can often feel as though they are coming from nowhere and they can be overwhelming to cope with. However, low self-esteem is something that nearly everyone will have to deal with at some point in their lives, with even the most confident of people having bouts of self-doubt and lacking self-confidence. These feelings can be conquered though, and there are many steps and small changes you can make today that will ensure you are able to take care of yourself and value yourself.
What is Low Self-Esteem?
Low self-esteem is a term we hear spoken about so often; its meaning can begin to become clouded and vague. A working definition is that someone who is experiencing low self-esteem will harbor feelings of shame or embarrassment towards themselves and may, in the extreme, even begin to stop liking themselves. Low self-esteem can, of course, involve many more complex feelings that just those above but what is important to remember is how common this problem is, and there are lots of people out there just like you.
Where does it come from?
Perhaps one of the hardest things about low self-esteem is that we don’t always understand why it happens when it does. By understanding the sources of low self-esteem, you will be better able to not only deal with these feelings but begin to prevent them all together. For example, one reason for low self-esteem could be due to something as simple as stress from work. While the deadlines and the workload we take on might not initially seem connected to a poor self-image or mentality, the feelings of stress that these cause, can manifest themselves in our psyche as low self-esteem as we struggle to cope. However, once we understand the triggers to our low self-esteem, we are instantly better able to deal with them when they arrive. When a low mood strikes, just the ability to say to yourself, “I feel low because I’m stressed from work and these feelings are okay” can make the world of difference to our mental well-being.
We feel how we eat
As mentioned above, feelings of low self-esteem are often caused by factors that we wouldn’t necessarily link to a lack of confidence, and one of these factors is the food we eat. What we put into our bodies does much more than simply give us energy; our food can shape our moods. For example, if we eat a big dinner, we feel groggy and sluggish afterward, with less energy or will to get up and do things. By understanding the link between food and self-esteem, we can make positive changes to our diets that will begin to make us feel better in the long run. The link to food is an important factor even if your low moods are not based around body image as the positive impact of eating healthy will increase the endorphins in your brain making these periods of low moods less and less likely.
Working out your feelings
Linked to the relationship with food, exercise can have a similarly big impact on our mental health. It can be hard to make the time to do some gentle exercise every day, but the benefits are worth it. By doing something as simple as walking to the shops rather than taking the car, you are letting your body have fresh air and get rid of any pent-up stress or worry by literally walking it off and, over time, will begin to feel the benefits of exercise getting to work. Exercise also allows us to take a break from over thinking and just watch the world go by or listen to music. Building in the time to let your mind rest while your body gets to work is a great way to shed any negative emotions that could turn into low self-esteem before they strike.
Getting to know yourself
Everyone is different, and so everyone is going to experience low self-esteem in different ways. The causes, symptoms, and ways we deal with low moods are as unique as we are and so you need to take the time to find what works best for you by exploring a range of methods at Self Esteem Solutions. Don’t be put off if the first few things you try don’t seem to have any effect; there will be methods of caring for yourself, and ways to actively deal with lacking confidence, that you will find along the way. Learning to deal with difficult emotions is very much a journey, not a race, so be persistent in finding the solutions you need.
With a little help from your friends
Aside from the things we can do alone to help improve our self-esteem, turning to those closest to us to help us through is something you should not be afraid to do. Friends are there to care and look out for us in times of need and will want to listen to your problems and help any way they can. There are many strong reasons to build your friendships, but one of the most important is so you can have a support network around you. A strong friendship can see us through the hardest of times, and certainly through bouts of low self-esteem. By talking to those who know you best about your problems, you will find that they can offer solutions and insights into your low self-esteem that will prove invaluable to getting better.
Dealing with low self-esteem becomes a more manageable task once you have some of the tools to work with and know where to start. After reading this, assess what can be changed in your life today to help you begin to feel better and start your journey to a happier you.